This book is the story of the extensive travels made by two Peters in search of plants in Turkey, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Tibet. On nearly every expedition, they explored territory where no western plant hunters had been since such great explorers as Frank Kingdon Ward, and some of the trails they followed were so remote and rough that they had never before been botanised. Every trip was an adventure, and every adventure bore the seeds of success. Where the Himalayan range meets the gorge country of south-west China lies the richest temperate flora in the world. Here the plant life can mate, mutate and migrate in an evolutionary stew that challenges the botanist to classify it. With their Chinese and Indian colleagues, the Peters introduced many plants, especially rhododendrons, new or lost to cultivation, often saving them from extinction, many of which can be grown outside in the temperate regions of Europe and the United States of America.
Peter Cox was brought up with plant hunting in his blood and with its influences all around him. He is a world authority on rhododendrons, has run the famous Glendoick Gardens nursery and written more books on rhododendrons than anyone else. Peter Hutchison is a keen gardener and plantsman who became the first Chairman of Trustees at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and was later Chairman of the Forestry Commission. Both Peters come from the East of Scotland but share a wild garden on the mild western coast where they grow plants they have collected.